Investor's Busienss Daily
December 7, 2010
Redress: Congress has OK'd nearly $5 billion for black and Native American farmers who claim they were discriminated against. This is redistribution of wealth in the name of environmental and social justice. Reparations have begun.
Redistribution of wealth has been an underlying purpose of this administration and Congress, and one of the most glaring examples has been its welcoming of a series of lawsuits alleging past discrimination by black, Native American, Hispanic and female farmers.
Pigford v. Glickman was a class action lawsuit against the Department of Agriculture alleging discrimination against black farmers in its allocation of farm loans between 1983 and 1987. With all our other economic difficulties, it has flown under the media radar. A separate suit filed by 300,000 American Indians claimed they had been cheated out of land royalties dating back to 1887.
One of the fruits of this lame-duck session has been the approval of $1.15 billion to the black farmers and $3.4 billion to the American Indians to settle the two lawsuits. At last count, more than 94,000 black farmers have signed up for payments under the settlement.
Based on census data, however, there were only 33,000 or so black farmers in existence during the period in question. Based on that number and the number of denied applications, the department had originally estimated that only 2,000 such claims would be filed.